Robert Wm. Gomez's

House of Traps (5/10)

An average and confusing Shaw Bros. film. I guess this is a continuation of the Deadly Venoms franchise? The titular House of Traps isn't that impressive. Only 4 traps! I couldn't really tell who was who. Only redeeming part is an over-the-top nail-bed torture scene.

A Story About My Uncle on PC (7/10)

They was shootin' lazers!!!!

A Story About My Uncle is a game based entirely around a single game mechanic, a grappling beam. Players shoot a beam at a distant surface, they are pulled towards the target, and then they must use inertia and timing to fling themselves towards their goal. That's about it. We've seen this before in just about every Zelda game, so this is nowhere near as revolutionary as the one-mechanic behind the extraordinary Portal.  Still, when it clicks, swinging across a map and carefully timing your shots can be thrilling.

"March of the Mustard King" Official Video

20 years ago this month I released an album's worth of computer music. If you weren't one of the lucky 3 people who got a CD, this is what you missed. Last night I made an *official video* for the song "March of the Mustard King." This was pre-Garage Band. Back when making songs on a computer was like watching the code of the Matrix scroll by.

How to Import Books to an iPad 1 (Without iTunes)

Apple has a history of abandoning users whenever they introduce a new product to the market. This wasn't always the case. The Apple IIgs, despite its 16-bit architecture, allowed for most of the old 8-bit Apple ][ software to run on the new system. However, since the introduction of OSX, the attitude  has been, "Deal with it old-timers. We know what's best for you."

I am the proud owner of a first generation iPad 1. I use it to play music and read eBooks. It performs these two tasks as well as any modern iPad or iPhone does. Alas, in their attempt streamline the software, Apple removed to ability to transfer PDFs and eBooks to an iPad 1 from iTunes. The entire Books section has been removed from the product with the expectation that iPad users will now get their content from the cloud. The problem is that iCloud, Dropbox and other cloud storage systems no longer work on an iPad 1.

My attempts to Google a solution have had mixed results. Apple is no help. The user help forums are filled with bad advice. In my frustration I have figured out a relatively simple way to get files, especially books, to your iPad 1. In a nutshell, we are going to create a web page containing links to all your books and then, assuming your computer and ipad are on the same local wi-fi network, browse to that web site on our iPad to download the files to iBooks.

Savage Streets (6/10)

Sleazy revenge movie with a heavy dose of mid-eighties fashion cheese. This could be a much higher rated movie but it handles the violence against its women characters in with a tone that suggests titillation rather than horror. It's completely off. The final revenge scenes are actually handled very well (despite Linda Blair's terrible performance).

Beyond the Black Rainbow (3/10)

I really did not like this movie at all. I was really excited to watch it. The still frames I saw beforehand looked awesome. Unfortunately, most of the movie is barely in-focus close-ups and mumbled dialogue. The plot is largely incoherent and the aforementioned mumbling doesn't help. None of this is a show stopper, but, on top of all that, it's just boring. A sad attempt at being artsy. I hope Mandy is better.

Eye of the Beholder II: The Legend of Darkmoon on MS-DOS (8/10)

EOB2 Elephant-looking thing

Time to break out that pad of graph paper again and start charting the depths of nerd-dom. Eye of the Beholder II is not a drastic departure from the click-frenzy gameplay of the first game. It does do a much better job at injecting story elements into the experience via wonderfully rendered cut scenes:

The Wind Rises (5/10)

This has to be the worst Studio Ghibli film I've seen. Of course it's beautiful, but if it wasn't for the craftsmanship of the animation, this would a forgotten bit of melodramatic film making.

The New Right: A Journey to the Fringe of American Politics by Michael Malice (9/10)

Malice takes a break from trolling to clarify what exactly "The New Right" is. The dear readers are guided through the intellectual roots of the movement, meme culture, college campus provocateurs, and eventually to the icky, extreme fringes of the alt-right. The focus isn't so much on the personalities as it is on the ideas and factions within the movement. The only thing that seems to unite them all is a shared hatred of progressives and "The Cathedral" (the progressive strongholds within universities and the press).

John Wick: Chapter 2 (6/10)

This is about on par with the first John Wick movie. Silly, fantastical world of assassins and gangsters with over-the-top gun fights. Again, the (intentionally) unrealistic action is kinda tedious especially when compared to the Mission: Impossible films. When every shot fired is a perfectly placed head shot it's just not interesting or engaging.